Pique: I didn’t disrespect the anthem

Gerard Pique has complained over the ‘stupid controversy’ that saw him accused of swearing during Spain’s national anthem prior to the Croatia defeat.

Pique was accused of showing a middle finger as the television camera swept past while Spain’s national anthem was playing and Pique used his Twitter account to reject the allegation.

“I think this is a stupid controversy. If I’m here it’s because I feel proud of this team and this family. In no way did I disrespect the anthem, as I have never disrespected this country or this team. I hope we all go together. These controversies don’t take us anywhere,” he wrote, AS reports, having insisted he was cracking his knuckles rather than making a gesture.

Pique also spoke to reporters after the 2-1 reverse and while he agreed it would have been much better for La Roja to win and enter what appears the easier half of the draw, he still feels the team is playing well.

“We deserved better. They scored at the worst times, they weren’t doing a lot and caught us on the counter-attack. We have to face what remains, which is to play against the best, but that doesn’t worry me a lot,” he continued.

“We’ve qualified. Obviously I would have liked us to be first. We have a hard path, but we’re confident. We’ve shown we can play good football. We’re together as one. This is a country with Barcelona and Real Madrid very divided, but we have to be together and be united. We have a unique opportunity to win something big.

“We took the game where we wanted at 1-1. Overall we were in control and I don’t think they were better than us. This path will be more difficult. They’ll also have a difficult path. They’re dangerous and we’ll have to study as well as we do to overcome them.”

Tags Euro 2016 Gerard Pique Spain